Does a good man’s life end at his death?
The answer for daughter Lisa Reinicke was, “No.” Her father was known by many names: Buster, Bill, Billy, Dad, and the Football Flyboy. His deeds, no matter how small, should be passed down to family, friends, and anyone looking for inspiration, and life-lessons from one who worked, lived and part of the Greatest Generation. The Football Flyboy was young, newlywed and a pilot in WWII. He was a good man.
One weekend morning, she determined that his spirit should not stay silent just because his mouth could no longer speak words. “I open my dad’s old air force footlocker - still solid, battleship grey, weathered, and a little rough from travel and age. His name is in white lettering on the front: First Lt William R Cannon.”
What she discovered were yellowed envelopes bound in twine - hundreds of them - that her father had written to her mother. Letters written daily during the last year of WWII and received by his bride. Her daily letters disappeared - only three times during the year, did the “mailman” catch up with him and teased with just a few of the hundreds.
“Before reaching inside, there was a feeling of the hands of time grabbing onto my heart, knowing that this was such a huge part of not only his life but my mom’s as well.”
Meet Bill “Buster” Cannon, the Football Flyboy … a good man with a good life who made a difference.
Lisa Reinicke is the majority holder of Our House Publications and author of 4 published children’s picture books for sale on Amazon and independent book stores. Lisa was honored with the Mom's Choice Gold Award for lifetime literary excellence for her children's book "Wings and Feet in 2017. She is a storyteller and author of 35 children’s stories appearing on local TV shows, elementary schools, and bookstores. The stories have been published in 3 collective recordings for distribution for A Goodnight Sleep Company. She also produced online (virtual) training for service advisors and technicians. Lisa served as head writer and on-camera talent in the videos. Her books are entertaining yet focus on social issues that engage children and parents to discuss. Her four children were all uniquely different ranging from physical differences, adoption, and physiological disorders that lead her following experts in each field to help children overcome the stigma around being different.
Lisa passionately works raising money for charities that improve children’s lives physically, emotionally, and spiritually.
I love this excerpt because it shows Dad's humor. If you didn't take the time to know him, or if you just picked this passage to read, you might not see his humility.
The biggest lesson I learned from Flyboy is what it takes to be a good man.
We did a survey this year for our campaign "What makes a Good Man?" One of the top responses was being "Humble."
That doesn't mean acting lowly. It isn't a man that is meek. It is a man that is not too full of himself.
We get to see Buster, our Flyboy, as a complete dimensional character. His warts and his halo appear regularly throughout the book. His humility and his bravado appear. The bravado is in his humor, but the humility shows up in his tears and caring for others. He was full of himself but not arrogant. He emptied himself for others in need.
Football Flyboy: First Lt. Bill Cannon, Piloting More than His Own Aircraft
Well, I still can’t figure it out if Japan surrendered because of the atom bomb or because Russia entered into the war, but I can’t help but believe it was because they heard that I was on my way over!